Disappointing Result For Tom Hessert; KSR At DuQuoin
Topics: Tom Hessert, Southern Illinois 100
DUQUOIN, Illinois (September 7, 2011) - Considering his experience on the dirt from his United States Auto Club (USAC) days and now with the 3,400-pound stock cars in the ARCA Racing Series presented by Menards for the last four years, Tom Hessert III and his Ken Schrader Racing (KSR) team were easily tabbed as a pre-race favorite for Monday’s Southern Illinois 100 presented by Federated Auto Parts at the DuQuoin (Ill.) State Fairgrounds.
By the end of the lone practice session on Labor Day, it was easy to deviser why. Hessert in his No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala sported the quickest time throughout the one-hour assignment. When the cross-flags had waived Hessert landed the second fastest time overall.
Confident in his racecar, Hessert leaned into Menards Pole by Ansell qualifying with high hopes. By the time Hessert’s Chevrolet bow-tie took to the one-mile dirt track, lap times began to drop because of the track’s changing characteristic. When time trials came to a close, Hessert would start the 100-lap shootout from the 13th position.
Disappointed but still highly optimistic about his racecar, Hessert climbed into his racecar shortly after 1:00 p.m. ready to do battle in the 16th race of the season.
Hessert wasted no time maneuvering through the field as by the completion of lap five, the Cherry Hill, New Jersey native bolted into the top-10 with some very quick lap times.
Six laps later, Hessert had nestled his way into the eighth position and climbed up to seventh just five circuits later before his day took a dramatic turn.
While gaining ground on the competition ahead of him, the engine seized on lap 22 forcing a trail of white smoke to emerge from the tailpipes of the No. 52 Federated Auto Parts Chevrolet Impala. Hessert was able to bring his machine to pit road but made the quick left hand-turn into the garage area as he knew his day was done.
Obviously dejected about the circumstances, Hessert would have to settle for a frustrating 26th place finish.
“There was no warning whatsoever,” offered the 25-year old. “The car felt weird for about one lap and then it went away and the next thing I knew she blew up. It’s extremely disappointing because I think we had one of the top-contending cars. We were moving through the field quickly before our day abruptly ended. I hate it especially for Federated Auto Parts who was a presenting sponsor for our annual trip to DuQuoin. We’ll do everything we can to make it up to them at Salem.”
Unofficially with three events remaining on the 2011 schedule, Hessert slipped to seventh in the championship standings just 15 markers behind Tim George Jr. for sixth and 75 markers for fifth currently occupied by Chad McCumbee.
Next up for the ARCA Racing Series is a return trip to Salem, Indiana for a Saturday-night shootout at the brutal half-mile short track for the running of the Kentuckiana Ford Dealers ARCA Fall Classic by Federated Car Care. The one-day show is set for Saturday, September 17th with the green flag scheduled to drop just after 7:15 p.m. Hessert will make his eighth-start at legendary short track and aims to improve on the team’s seventh place outing in May. Overall, Hessert has collected two top-fives and five top-10s there.
In addition to Federated Auto Parts, Cherry Hill Classic Cars served as an associate marketing partner for Hessert’s 80th career ARCA start. In those 80 outings, he has maneuvered one win, 18 top-fives and 42 top-10s.
For more on Tom Hessert III, please visit tomhessert.com.
NAME: Chris Knight, Knight Motorsports Management
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